ALCS, Game 2: Royals vs. Orioles lineups

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Here are the lineups for Game 2 of ALCS between the Royals and Orioles. Expected first pitch at Oriole Park at Camden Yards is 4:07 p.m. ET:

Royals:
SS Alcides Escobar
RF Norichika Aoki
CF Lorenzo Cain
1B Eric Hosmer
DH Billy Butler
LF Alex Gordon
C Salvador Perez
2B Omar Infante
3B Mike Moustakas

SP Yordano Ventura

This has been Ned Yost’s standard lineup through the playoffs. The Royals are 5-0 so far, so no need to mess with what’s working, right?

Orioles:
RF Nick Markakis
LF Alejandro De Aza
CF Adam Jones
DH Nelson Cruz
1B Steve Pearce
SS J.J. Hardy
3B Ryan Flaherty
C Caleb Joseph
2B Jonathan Schoop

SP Bud Norris

The only change here from Game 1 is that Caleb Joseph will start behind the plate instead of Nick Hundley. Hundley helped keep the Royals’ running game in check last night and made a nice play at the plate in the ninth, but Joseph is no slouch. He led the American League by throwing out 40.4 percent (23-for-57) of attempted basestealers during the regular season.

An interesting little note here from MASN Sports’ Roch Kubatko: The Orioles haven’t lost back-to-back games at home since June 28-29.

Pirates hire Ben Cherington as their new general manager

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The Pittsburgh Pirates have hired Ben Cherington as the team’s new general manager. They do so after the general manager meetings ended, but better late than never.

Cherington served as GM of the Boston Red Sox for four years, winning the World Series in 2013, but resigned during the 2015 season after Dave Dombrowski was named Boston’s new president of baseball operations. Which was a defacto demotionn for Cherington who, until then, had the final say in baseball decisions. Dombrowski, of course, was fired late in the season this year. Cherington went on to work for the Toronto Blue Jays as a vice president, but was seen as biding his time for another GM position. Now he has one.

Cherington takes over in Pittsburgh for executive vice president and general manager Neal Huntington, who was fired after a 12 years at the helm. Also fired was team president Frank Coonelly. Travis Williams replaced Coonelly recently. While the Pirates experienced a few years of contention under Huntington and Coonelly, they have slid out of contention in recent years as the club has traded away promising players for little return, all while cutting payroll. There’s a very big rebuilding job ahead of Cherington.

The first move he’ll have to make: hire a manager, as the team still hasn’t replaced Clint Hurdle since he was dismissed in the final weekend of the regular season.